american society of anesthesiologists In a hushed surgical theater in Boston in 1846, anesthesia changed medicine forever. The first successful public demonstration of ether anesthesia allowed patients to undergo surgery they would otherwise not have been able to tolerate. Previously, patients who had been subjected to biting down on cloth or looking into a blue light could finally undergo surgery ...

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An excerpt from The Communication Panacea: Pediatrics and General Semantics. If one pays attention to the language used in the context of all of these developments, it is clear we have moved into an entirely new semantic environment. Just as in the civic realm the word “citizen” has almost entirely been ...

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shutterstock_223911598 I have issues with the customer satisfaction paradigm, but it’s not generally hard to make patients happy. Sometimes, though, it can be nearly impossible. It all depends on our own inner life as physicians and human beings. The key to medicine, to being a beloved physician, is to love our patients. This can be a tall order. Human beings are remarkably difficult ...

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Can primary care survive? At a time when the services of a well trained, well-supported primary care physician are needed more than ever before to help patients negotiate through the confusing health care maze, the specialty is under siege. We are overwhelmed. Those of us in primary care are overwhelmed by the growing weight of medical, legal, financial, and clerical responsibilities placed on our shoulders. The quality of care we can ...

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shutterstock_154990457 The truth is, I know it's easy to go to the Minute Clinic.  I know the enticement of not needing an appointment, of being able to shop while you wait, of having the prescription ready to pick up by the end of your appointment.  Who doesn't like convenience and a friendly smile to add?  Who doesn't like the customer service offered ...

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shutterstock_51888040 New York Post reporter Susan Edelman revealed the name of the unfortunate anesthesiologist allegedly present on August 28 at Yorkville Endoscopy, during the throat procedure that led to the death of comedian Joan Rivers. She is reported to be Renuka Reddy Bankulla, MD, 47, a board-certified anesthesiologist from New Rochelle, NY. Having her name made public will be a nightmare for Dr. Bankulla, as ...

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“What do you want for dinner?” I asked my wife. “I don’t know,” she answered.  “What do you want?” “How about hamburgers?” “No, I don’t want hamburgers.” “What do you want then?” “I don’t know … pasta.” “I’m a little sick of pasta,” I said.  “How about pizza?” “I’m really in the mood for pasta.” Silence.  Then:   “OK, pasta.” I’ve observed, both among my patients and my friends, that the issues which ultimately threaten to dismantle romantic ...

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One of my patients got admitted this past week. As a new attending, this is still an unpleasant experience. Have I failed? Is there more I could have done to prevent this? I have to say that this particular case wasn't shocking. The patient hadn't been doing well lately, and I wasn't surprised when I got the message that they were on the way to the emergency room. Due to our ...

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seagull The day before I began my second year of medical school, I spent the day at the beach with my daughter, who had just celebrated her third birthday. Most of my classmates had spent their “last summer ever” traveling or doing research, but I had chosen to take the time off to make up for some of the family time I ...

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On a 12-hour shift in the hospital, I recently spent a mere hour with patients, with the rest glued to a computer screen, to the "iPatient." When a patient comes to the hospital, speaking to them has become an afterthought to reading extensive medical records, physical exam findings from the emergency room, and synthesizing laboratory data. I, as a millennial doctor, have been on the cusp of this shift. My ...

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